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Shop Smart. Protect Your Identity.

‘Tis the season to spend some money! Shop smart and protect yourself from financial predators and thieves with the following tips:

Beware of callers or emails that pretend to be financial institutions, companies, or government agencies that are designed to scare you into giving your passwords and other confidential information belonging to an account.

  • Only give your personal information to companies or people that you know.
  • If you are uneasy, do not answer any questions or click on any links – make a call to the institution and make sure that they are currently reaching out to you.
  • Look at the senders address or phone number, and confirm that this is an address that or phone number that you see on your statements.
  • Look closely at logos on any emails that you receive. Many times a logo will be altered or placed in a very unusual manner or unprofessional layout.

When entering sensitive information on a website, look for “https” in the web address to make sure it is secure.

Do not click on links that are in an email, and do not respond to emails requesting information about you and your accounts.

Contact organizations directly by phone or going to their websites yourself.

Regularly check your bank account and credit card statements to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions.

Keep receipts showing where and what money you spend.

Be aware of who is around you when you are typing your PIN at the store or at an ATM.

Check your credit report after the holidays to ensure that fraudulent accounts have not been opened under your name.

For more information on identity theft and how to correct errors on your credit report, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website located at

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